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Terry said she has done nothing wrong and won't stay away as the school board asked.
Mary Sue Terry
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Former Virginia Attorney General Mary Sue Terry is in a dispute with her local school board, which has asked her to stay off school board property and not attend meetings without prior approval.
The chairman of the Patrick County School Board wrote Friday in a letter to Terry that she “barged” into a closed meeting Thursday with a group of people “and proceeded to totally disrupt the meeting.”
Ronnie Terry, the board chairman, no relation to Mary Sue Terry, writes that because of the actions, the former attorney general is not to come onto school board property or attend board meetings “without the express prior written approval of either the chair of the school board or the superintendent.”
“Should you come onto school property without such written approval, you will be charged with trespassing,” he writes.
Terry said in an interview Tuesday that she did nothing wrong and that the letter is retribution. She has not been charged with anything.
“The letter is pure retribution for the issues that I have raised with the school board and the superintendent,” she said. “There was nothing done at the Thursday night meeting to justify that letter.”
Terry lives on the family farm where she was raised in Patrick County, in rural Southside. Her great-great-grandparents first settled the farm after the Civil War.
She was an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Patrick County from 1973-77 before serving in the House of Delegates from 1978 to 1985.
In 1985 Terry became the first — and remains the only — woman elected to statewide office in Virginia. She served as attorney general from 1986 to 1993, the year she was the Democratic nominee for governor, losing to Republican George Allen.
No Democrat has been elected attorney general in Virginia since Terry won a second term in 1989.
Terry has a history with the school division — she sued the Patrick County school division in 2012 in relation to the Freedom of Information Act — and says she has represented retired teachers whose contracts were terminated.
“I’m not on the most-favored list,” she said. “And I intend to continue to go to meetings and continue to participate in discussions.”
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